November 16, 2022

Law Society issues its response to the Ministry’s Intentions Paper

On September 14, the Ministry of the Attorney General released an Intentions Paper describing its project to modernize the regulatory framework for legal service providers in British Columbia through the creation of a single legal regulator. The Law Society has carefully considered the Intentions Paper and, following a number of discussions by the Executive Committee and the Board, has prepared a submission.

The Law Society agrees with many of the proposals in the Intentions Paper, in particular that action must be taken to increase access to justice. However, the Law Society urges the Ministry to consider the following, which the Law Society believes are essential to any new framework that establishes a single legal regulator:

  • An independent bar and an independent profession require an independent regulator where lawyers constitute the majority of board members.
  • An independent regulator requires a board of sufficient size such that the board can reflect the diversity of the BC public.
  • The licensing of paralegals requires a flexible, modular and competency-based approach rather than a defined minimum scope of practice.
  • Any new legislation should enable the regulator and not fetter the broad authority to regulate the competence and integrity of BC legal service providers.

The Law Society’s full response can be viewed here.

The Law Society looks forward to continuing discussions with the Ministry and is hopeful the above concerns will be addressed within a new regulatory framework that recognizes the importance of an independent bar, an independent profession and an independent regulator, and a board that reflects the diversity of the public in British Columbia and has the authority to regulate legal service providers in the public interest.

Comments on modernizing the regulatory framework for BC legal services providers will continue to be accepted by the Law Society at slr@lsbc.org. Please note that any comments provided may be subject to disclosure under freedom of information legislation.